Infrastructure Key to Ending Food-Borne Diseases In Africa

Foodborne diseases are thought to impose a health burden on society comparable to the "big three": Malaria, HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis. Common foodborne diseases affect tens of millions of people annually. It includes salmonellosis, which causes stomach upsets, norovirus, which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea, and listeriosis, which can cause severe infections of the bloodstream and brain. Children and people with weak immune systems are affected most, write Delia Grace, Erastus Kang'ethe and Florence Mutua for The Conversation.               

Unsafe raw food, poor storage conditions, inadequate cooking, poor personal hygiene, and improper handling methods are sources of contamination that give room for food-borne outbreaks.

The World Bank estimates that countries in Africa lose approximately U.S.$110 billion to food-borne diseases, thus impeding socio-economic development by straining healthcare systems and harming national economies, tourism, and trade. These funds are lost through lost productivity and medical expenses, annually, writes Chidindu Mmadu-Okoli for Nigeria Health Watch.

Fresh spices and fruits on display at a market in Abuja, Nigeria

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